Snow, freezing rain make travel treacherous in Western Pa.
By Bobby Kerlik
Published: Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, 6:24 a.m.
A storm that delivered a nasty mix of snow, ice and freezing rain on Wednesday downed power lines, disrupted public transit and further strained the region's salt supply.
“We stocked up, so we're good for now, but if winter keeps up like this, we'd be out in two weeks,” said Mark Turcell, whose Ross-based Steel City Landscape plows commercial properties, including Station Square and The Mall at Robinson. “The government gets their salt from the suppliers first. I ordered over 1,500 tons, but right now, I can't get any.”
Weather forecasters say some relief from precipitation may be in sight, at least Thursday and Friday. Snow showers were expected Wednesday night but not again until Saturday, said National Weather Service meteorologist Brad Rehak. Thursday's forecast is partly sunny with a high of 22 degrees.
That's good news for private plowers, who are hoping for salt shipments this week.
“Salt is getting tight, and it's getting hard to find,” said Blair Cress, owner of 20/20 Landscaping in Crafton.
State officials said nothing in their contract demands they come first.
“I think it boils down to, under the terms of the contract, (state officials) have to receive the shipment within seven days. The suppliers have to meet their contractual obligations,” said Troy Thompson, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of General Services.
“We try to balance the needs of all our customers,” said Morton Salt spokeswoman Denise Lauer. “Generally speaking, our customer orders for road salt have surged this season due to the continued cold weather and snow events across the country.”
The snow- and rain-free forecast is welcome news to the Port Authority of Allegheny County, which experienced major disruptions to the T light-rail service on Wednesday because of ice on the overhead lines.
Commuters who drive had their own problems.
“I had a hard time getting out of my parking lot this morning,” said Bobby Muto, 67, who lives in a Leetsdale high-rise. “There's a decent amount of snow, but the ice on top is the real problem. The main roads aren't bad, but some of the side roads are dangerous.”
In Southeastern Pennsylvania, PECO was working to restore power to more than 500,000 customers. Some people might not get their electricity back until the weekend, Gov. Tom Corbett said. He signed an order allowing state agencies to waive certain procedures in order to respond more quickly to the storm.
The Associated Press contributed. Bobby Kerlik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7886 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Man found fatally shot in Larimer a mile away from Homewood peace march
- Newsmaker: Toni Silva
- Officials ID Elizabeth Township man as West End train victim
- Everest avalanche kills 12 in peak’s deadliest climb
- South Fayette mother wants case against bullied son to be dropped
- Work on tournament-class dek hockey rink in Bloomfield to begin
- Legal experts question prosecuting South Fayette boy for recording bullies
- South Fayette parents express dissatisfaction with handling of bullying
- Obama hopes to replicate CCAC job training efforts across United States
- Bullied South Fayette student’s case prompts wiretap overhaul legislation